How to Make the Most of One Day in Auckland

One Day in Auckland City: Auckland Harbour and yachts
Most people who visit Aotearoa spend just a minimum amount of time visiting Auckland City or skip the capital all together to maximize time for a road trip around New Zealand. How many days should you spend in Auckland? While taking a few days to explore the Auckland at your leisure is helpful, in this post, I'll cover an ideal itinerary for one day in Auckland and prove that even though it's a short visit, you can still cover a lot of ground in Auckland in a day. Use this one day Auckland City itinerary to jumpstart your trip to New Zealand or enjoy your last day in Auckland before flying home. 

Breakfast in Auckland CBD

Start the day with a hearty breakfast in Auckland CBD. Grab a bowl-sized flat white with eggs and avocado smash with toast at Melba. Sit outside on pedestrianized Vulcan Lane or eat inside with a breeze blowing through the large open windows.

Alternatively, head to Chuffed for a cappuccino and a creative take on oatmeal. Chuffed serves banana porridge made with polenta, lime anglaise, coriander honey and a macademia crumb delivered up in a sunroom lined with street art. 
Auckland in a day: breakfast and coffee at Melba or Chuffed

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Devonport can be a great home base for exploring Auckland City. Located just across the Bay from Auckland City, why not rent an Airbnb and use Devonport as a jumping off point for day trips around Auckland. Take the ferry to Waiheke Island or drink in views of the Auckland skyline (including Auckland's iconic Sky Tower) on the boat ride to the ferry terminal in Auckland CBD.

Shop Auckland CBD

After breakfast, take time to shop for souvenirs in Auckland CBD. Global Culture on Queen Street features some fantastic t-shirts with unique Kiwi imagery. I bought a comfy t-shirt featuring a kiwi bird using its beak on a turntable. I also nabbed a sheep-driving-a-tractor shirt as a gift for my husband. These are not your typical tourist tees and dress up nicely with a blazer. Explore Queens Arcade and pick up some hand-dyed New Zealand lambswool or possum wool at New Zealand Fabrics and Yarn. Queens Arcade also features a number of well-priced local boutiques. 

Lunch at Mojo

Have lunch along the harbour in Auckland City. Mojo Coffee is located in an Auckland CBD skyscraper just across the street from the cruise port. The grilled lemon chicken salad with halloumi was divine and the single-origin filter coffee was top notch; giving me the energy to continue my Auckland exploration into the afternoon.
What to eat in Auckland: Grilled lemon chicken salad at Mojo

Explore Auckland's Wynyard Quarter

Head to Auckland's Wynyard Quarter after lunch. Walk along the harbour to this recently revitalized part of Auckland City. Stop to admire the yachts on Auckland Harbour which are insanely huge! I especially enjoyed Silo Park, an old industrial area turned into a public park. Climb the metal structure in the park to get above it all for a walk. The Wynyard Quarter is also home to Auckland Fish Market, a covered food hall featuring some great places for a bite to eat or a drink. It was a hot day in late March when I visited Auckland City, so I couldn't resist stopping at Little 'Lato for a salted butterscotch gelato to enjoy on my walk. Wynyard Quarter should definitely be on your list of top Auckland attractions to see during a short visit.
One day in Auckland: Silo Park in the Wynward Quarter

Auckland Pub Stop

Your one perfect day in Auckland is not complete without a pub stop. Head to the Brewer's Co-operative for a wide selection of craft beer. Don't spoil your dinner but consider trying Brewer's Co-operative's amazing sweet potato fries doused in vinegar. I tried Deep Creek Brewing Co. Aloha Guava Passionfruit Sour, Mata Merry Berry Cider from Mata Beer, and Thunder Pale Ale from Epic Brewing Company. The taps change often so you're bound to find a craft beer to enjoy no matter what your taste.
Auckland in one day: craft beer pub stop at Brewer's Co-operative

Dinner and a Nightcap in Ponsonby

Ponsonby is a popular residential area in Auckland City that is extremely popular with locals. The fastest way to get to Ponsonby from Auckland CBD is using Uber. It cost less than $10 NZD to get to Ponsonby from the CBD (avoiding rush hour). Book in at Épicer for an innovative gourmet Indian meal. I was in Auckland for work and visiting my office so ended up going out to eat with a group. This worked out well as we were able to sample nearly a dozen different dishes between us. There are definitely advantages to business travel.
One Day in Auckland: Tamarind and Date margarita at Epicer in Ponsonby

Start the meal with a cocktail from Épicer's extensive menu. I tried a fancy tamarind and date margarita. Our dinner at Épicer was absolutely awesome. The highlight had to be an Indian-inspired flaming lamb dish finished table-side.
Auckland in a day: Dinner at Epicer in Ponsonby

Ponsonby also has some fun bars including Hoppers Garden Bar. Hop on over after dinner for a nightcap before calling it a night. Hoppers was packed on a Thursday night out and I was definitely digging all the quirky art. What a great way to end a very cool day one day Auckland itinerary!
One Day in Auckland City: Hoppers Garden Bar in Ponsonby

Map of Things to Do in Auckland City

Click on the image below to open an interactive map of the destinations highlighted in this post about spending one day in Auckland City.
Map of things to do in one day in Auckland City New Zealand

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Was this day in Auckland just a start for a longer trip in New Zealand? Check out things to do with 3 weeks in New Zealand. If you have less time, why not take a few days to drive from Auckland to Paihia in the Bay of Islands to experience Maori culture and see more of the North Island.

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One Day in Auckland City New ZealandOne Day in Auckland City New Zealand

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: How to Make the Most of One Day in Auckland
How to Make the Most of One Day in Auckland
Check out an efficient and fun one day Auckland itinerary. Find out how to spend one cool day in Auckland City New Zealand. Experience one day in Auckland. Do Auckland in a day including an evening further afield in Ponsonby.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog
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